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Would Sharp be a good fit on Caps' top line?

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Would Sharp be a good fit on Caps' top line?

Today in Chicago, Patrick Sharp is parading through the streets, high-fiving and fist-pumping fans as they celebrate the Blackhawks’ third Stanley Cup in six years.

With $69 million committed to salaries next season, many believe these could be Sharp’s final days as a Blackhawk as the club tries to make amends with a $71 million salary cap that will force them to unload at least one big salary. Could the Capitals be one of the teams interested in acquiring Sharp and placing him on a top line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom?

More importantly, can they make room for his $5.9 million cap hit for the next two years?

On Wednesday, Sharp told CSNChicago that he wants to enjoy a third championship season before giving thought to his future in Chicago.

“I haven’t really put much thought into it,” Sharp said. “It’s been a whirlwind couple of days. To win a third Stanley Cup in this city is something that I’ll always remember. It’s pretty special. It’s a huge accomplishment. These last couple days have been crazy. I’m sure the next few days when things wind down a little bit, that’ll be more of a topic of conversation.”

If you recall, Sharp was rumored to be the subject of trade talks between the Capitals and Blackhawks in late February and when asked specifically about Sharp, Capitals coach Barry Trotz seemed on board with the idea.

“We’re looking for the best players  and we’ll do whatever it takes to win,” Trotz said back on Feb. 28. “If you’re in the mix for those names I think it’s great because it shows your team that you’re an organization that’s not willing to stand pat. 

“We want to get better, I want to be part of that. If you’re a player or a coach or a fan you recognize the team is trying to get better and they’re not just settling for average. We’re tying to do great things here, so let's not settle for average. Let’s do something great. So those are great rumors to have out there for me.”

Back in February the Caps reportedly were unwilling to part with Joel Ward and a first-round draft pick in exchange for Sharp, who is 33 and coming off his least productive full season since his first full year in Chicago in 2006-07.  In 68 games this season Sharp recorded 16 goals and 27 assists and was a minus-8, but he delivered five goals and 10 assists and was a plus-2 in 23 playoff games for the Blackhawks while averaging 15:34 of ice time in the post-season. [Check out this post-game interview he gave while holding his daughter]. 

The Caps have roughly $50 million committed to eight forwards, six defensemen and one goalie, assuming Philipp Grubauer replaces Justin Peters as Braden Holtby’s backup next season. That means the Caps have roughly $21 million to spend on four forwards [including restricted free agents Evgeny Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson] and goaltender Braden Holtby, also an RFA.

Theoretically, if the Caps re-sign Kuznetsov and Johansson to cap hits totaling $6 million and Holtby to a cap hit in the $6 million range, that would leave them with about $9 million in cap space to sign two or three more forwards. If the Caps trade for Sharp without getting rid of salary, that would leave roughly $3 million to re-sign Jay Beagle and/or Eric Fehr, leaving no money left for UFAs Ward or defenseman Mike Green.

MORE CAPITALS: FORMER CAP WILL HAVE TO FIND A NEW TEAM

The Caps also could look into freeing up salary by either including a roster player in a trade for Sharp, or looking into buyout options for a roster player such as Brooks Laich.

  

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NHL Stanley Cup Final 2018: Capitals vs. Golden Knights full schedule announced, date, time, TV channel, how to watch

NHL Stanley Cup Final 2018: Capitals vs. Golden Knights full schedule announced, date, time, TV channel, how to watch

The Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights are the only two hockey teams left standing and will meet to decide the 2017-18 NHL Stanley Cup champion.

The Capitals advanced to the Stanley Cup FInal for the first time since 1998, thanks to a 4-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

The Golden Knights, in their inaugural season, shocked the NHL world, defeating the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets to become the first team in major American professional sports history to reach the championship game in the franchise's first season.

The Capitals and Golden Knights met twice during the regular season, with Vegas coming out on top in both games. The Golden Knights blanked the Caps 3-0 in the Caps' first trip to Sin City, and bested the Caps 4-3 at Capital One Arena on Feb. 4.

Game 1 of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Capitals and Golden Knights takes place on Monday, May 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC and is available to be streamed online by using the NBC Sports App.

NBC Sports Washington will broadcast pre- and postgame coverage of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Capitals and Golden Knights,  with Caps FaceOff and Caps GameTime preceding Capitals vs. Golden Knights puck drop and Caps Extra and Caps OverTime following the end of each game. 

2018 STANLEY CUP FINAL HOW TO WATCH

Game 1: Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Monday, May 28
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 2: Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Wednesday, May 30
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBCSN
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 3: Golden Knights at Capitals
Date: Saturday, June 2
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: Capital One Arena. Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBCSN
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 4: Golden Knights at Capitals
Date: Monday, June 4
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: Capital One Arena. Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 5 (If Necessary): Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Thursday, June 7
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 6 (If Necessary): Golden Knights at Capitals
Date: Sunday, June 10
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: Capital One Arena. Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 7 (If Necessary): Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Wednesday, June 13
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)
 

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Alex Ovechkin scored the goal that sent the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Final

Alex Ovechkin scored the goal that sent the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Final

On June 4, 1998, Joe Juneau scored the biggest goal in the history of the Washington Capitals.

In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final, Juneau attacked the crease and shot in a rebound past a helpless Dominik Hasek in overtime to defeat the Buffalo Sabres and win the Eastern Conference.

That goal sent the Capitals to its first and, before 2018, only Stanley Cup Final.

Alex Ovechkin’s name was already etched in the history books for the Capitals several times over, but on Wednesday he added it again with the biggest goal of his career. His goal in Game 7 stood as the game-winner meaning it was the goal that sent the Capitals to their second Cup Final.

You can watch it here:

It did not come in overtime and was not quite as dramatic as Juneau’s. In fact, no one knew the significance of the goal at the time. It came just 62 seconds into the contest. It was a significant goal, but no one realized right away that it would be an historic one.

How fitting is it that Ovechkin scored the game-winner? Ovechkin who this team was built around, who reignited the franchise and built Washington into a hockey city. After all the criticism over the years, all the talk about how he can’t win, all talk about how the team should take away the C and all the talk about how the Caps should trade him and start over, this goal was not just a moment of history, but one of vindication.

When we look back on Ovechkin’s career, at all the individual awards and accomplishments, this one single goal will stand above the rest. This was the biggest game of his career and he scored the biggest goal of his career just 62 seconds in.

There’s one way he can top that: lead the Caps past Vegas for their first Stanley Cup.

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